Quarter of SMEs affected by staff health problems

Tipping tablets into a hand to symbolize health

27% of businesses have suffered negative impacts caused by staff health and wellbeing issues, a survey has revealed. 

Of that number, half have reported a rise in absenteeism, while nearly a fifth have experienced a drop in productivity and a further 17% have seen an increase in staff turnover. 

The findings come from the Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey that canvasses the opinion of business owners and senior management across the UK.

CEO of Close Brothers Invoice Finance, David Thomson, said: “Anything that has a negative impact on an employee’s wellbeing is bound to be reflected in their performance and consequently, that of the overall business. 

“Figures from the government estimate that almost 130 million working days are lost every year to sickness in the UK and that ill health among employees costs the national economy approximately £100 billion*.

“Any form of stress or illness can be detrimental to productivity and efficiency in the workplace. It can reduce the morale of the workforce and become a significant drain on resources.”

The survey also revealed that maintaining the health and wellbeing of employees is a priority for 86% of firms. 

“It’s encouraging that businesses are taking steps to both support their workforce and counter the negative impact of employee health concerns. We found that almost 50% of firms polled have introduced perks and benefits for employees such as health insurance, gym membership and company cars, and 24% say they do this to support the wellbeing of their staff. 

“For some SMEs, managing health in the workplace may seem like a challenging and costly task, but it's an important issue and one that shouldn’t be avoided. Especially when it can bring such clear benefits to your business,” added Mr Thomson. 

 

*Department of Work and Pensions, 2014  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/a-million-workers-off-sick-for-more-than-a-month